John 9 focuses on the story of the blind man who is healed by Yahushua, a single chapter which encapsulates what is hidden to sight, what is darkness and what is truth.
It starts off with the disciples asking Yahushua quite a controversial question:
“Rabbi” they said, “who sinned, the man or his parents, that he should be born blind?”
As Rabbi, means teacher, it is obvious that they wanted Yahushua to teach them something which they were confused about or didn’t know. This got me thinking, what has blindness got to do with sin? Obviously as the disciples had been born into the Jewish faith their understanding of sin and blindness would also originate from this, so I decided to look at what the Old Testament had to say about the relationship between blindness and sin.
I have to be honest and say that it was very difficult for me to find anything linking the two together outside of these two verses:
And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD… (Zephaniah 1:17)
In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. (Zechariah 12:4)
These scriptures seem to show a connection between sin and blindness yet this connection is not absolute, and refers more to spiritual blindness than physical blindness. The Old Testament also highlights that the blind should be treated with compassion and dignity instead of ridicule and judgement (Leviticus 19:14 and Deuteronomy 27:18) begging the question that if God doesn’t condemn those who are sight-impaired why did the disciples ask this question?
The Pharisaic Vs. Divine Perspective
As we go through the chapter it becomes clear that the opinion of the disciples wasn’t based on God’s Word but the teaching they had received from their spiritual leaders who not only viewed and treated the blind as inferior but also those who were sick, uneducated or poor. And so this chapter shows Yahushua re-educating His disciples in true Spirituality 101.
“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Verse 3 – 5
There is a big play on the words light and darkness here, obviously the blind man lives in darkness and those with sight are supposed to be living in the light but in this chapter we see that true light is not physical at all but spiritual.
The Waters of Shiloah
I believe that no word, no yod or tittle of God’s Word should be brushed over – so if Yahushua told the blind man to wash the clay out in the pool of Siloam (Shiloah in Hebrew) then it must be significant.
So, after a bit if digging, I found out that this water pool is not only based in Jerusalem but it is linked to Kings and Priests as well as being used to water the Royal garden during the time of the early Kings. (For more info follow this link)
This may not be significant to other people but it is significant to me because Yahushua is the archetype of the perfect King and Priest in that His authority, wisdom and knowledge is complete and perfect but also, I see three things which bring my mind back to the Messianic age and Covenant of Shalom hidden here.
Number 1 – Why saliva and mud to make clay?
We already know that man was made from the earth and that we are clay in the Potter’s hand, so this reference to mud/clay speaks to me of the first royal garden at Eden were man was made from the mud of the earth. This healing miracle highlights the re-creative power of the Messiah to take someone who has never been able to see at all and give them sight.
Covenant of Shalom Lesson 1: God wants to Re-create us
Number 2 – Waters of Life
The Book of Ezekiel 47:1-11 speaks of a river that flows out from the Temple and Jerusalem whose waters are for healing and restoration just before Messiah returns to sit on His throne. Again this reminds me of Eden, the Bible speaks of the rivers that watered it and brought and sustained life, as such the reference to Siloah is a reference to life.
Covenant of Shalom Lesson 2: God wants us to have Life
Number 3 – Sabbath Restoration
it is no accident that the miracle took place on the Sabbath day, because the Sabbath in itself is a symbol of the healing and restorative will of YHWH. We already know that the Sabbath day is the physical symbol of the Messianic age, so this miracle points to Yahushua as Messiah (Master of the Sabbath).
Covenant of Shalom Lesson 3: God wants to heal and restore us
To make the Blind See
This preordained miracle occurred to act as a judge between those who could see and could not see, this was a huge lesson that His disciples needed to learn and that we need to learn too.
The Pharisees were obsessed with playing spot the sinner, yet they were blind to both their own Darkness and the Light of God. That day the Blind man entered into the salvation plan of YHWH and was re-created, given life, healed and restored but the Pharisees lost yet another chance at being saved.
The chapter ends with these words:
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains. (verses 39-41)
So as for the question does blindness lead to sin or sin to blindness, we can say that it is our ignorance of our blindness that leads to sin and keeps us outside of the re-creative, restorative and healing will of YHWH through belief in His Son, Yahushua HaMashiach/Jesus Christ.
Do not be ignorant to your blindness, seek the Son whilst He can still be found.